Everyone here has a story,
and we discuss it all like old maids
at brunch. I haven’t actually felt the sun
on my skin in fourteen days now. I trace water droplets on foggy window panes as they race towards the bottom to be the first
My roommates from old money— Boca raised, and coming off another booze-hazed bender. This is her fourth time here
—and still, she uses our bathroom to vomit
dinner—no mind who cares. I watch
thick clouds turn into old silent films,
a tapestry of sky under a backlight
of moonlight. I miss the bloom
of my mother’s favorite—
outside the window of my childhood bedroom. It’s violet-blush—violent, against the rest of the winter-dead landscape. I’m five hundred miles away— getting drunk on old cartoons—liquid tv afternoons,
and I think:
I’m getting down with this disease—now.
I eat my Cheerios pre-portioned, from a Styrofoam bowl—raspy to alert
everyone when I take a bite
—with full-fat milk.
I try not to think about the physical action, spoon-to-mouth-thirty-two-times, before I’m allowed to stop—
I think about that fat-bellied iguana
I saw out the bay windows yesterday—when everyone else had visitors—
and I sat alone,
with focused gaze—
a full admirer of his strut across the plush
St. Augustine. He wasn’t even aware
he owned a body.
The nurse wakes the almost dead
first—every morning at five
with a courtesy-hard knock,
and demand: Vitals in five!
I join the rest of the herd who linger —strange ghosts in wait.
We line up, unnamed cattle—ready.
To be weighed and prodded
and pushed down the conveyor belt
—with buckets of chalk-tar Ensure to cushion the landing.
Fattened like pigs ready for slaughter
—I’m allowed outside, but tears are rolling down the window panes again, and the suns still missing.
My white hospital gown billows—